Krishna Pendyala and Rose CaiolaThis week we’re featuring a series of five conversations between Rewire Me founder Rose Caiola and Krishna Pendyala, life coach and author of Beyond the PIG and the APE. Below is the fifth installment of the series.

ROSE: When and how did you get involved with Mindful Nation?

KRISHNA: When my book came out in 2011, it started to resonate most with the mindfulness folks. As I got more involved in the mindfulness community, I was introduced to Congressman Tim Ryan at a mindfulness conference, and we soon realized that we shared the same dream of transforming people and institutions to create a more pragmatic, purposeful, and restorative nation, an enlightened society or a mindful nation. Long story short, we got together and launched the Mindful Nation Foundation during the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in February of 2013.

It has been a true joy to collaborate with Congressman Ryan over the last year to realize our shared dream of building a mindful nation.

Even the way we met is a neat story. When I first read his book, A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit and listened to some of his YouTube videos, I liked them a lot and tried to reach out to him through his Congressional website. Based on my zip code, I wasn’t allowed to send him an email. Two months or so later, while I was on my way to a Mindfulness in Education Conference at the Omega Institute, I received a call from Kristi Nelson at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts, who happened to be one of the sponsors of the conference. She introduced me to Tim later the same day and we had dinner that night. From not being allowed to send him even an email to how we are collaborating today is yet another amazing act of synchronicity.

As the President of the Mindful Nation Foundation, I am both honored and humbled to be presented with this incredible opportunity and responsibility. On the other hand, we are just getting started and it’s going to take all of us and more to make this a reality. This sure is bigger than all of us. It truly has the potential to do a lot of good in our world.

You might remember the movie Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner, a fantasy drama where the main theme was “If you build it, they will come.” While I don’t necessarily buy that line, it inspired me to create a variation that has worked successfully for me on many occasions. It is, “If you help them see it, they will build it.” I see it as our responsibility to help and guide as many people as we can to see the possibility of mindful nation as a reality in their mind’s eye.

ROSE: What are your plans for Mindful Nation Foundation?

KRISHNA: We promote the values of slowing down, taking care of ourselves, being kind, and helping each other. We wholeheartedly believe by embracing these values individually, it can benefit us collectively. And our nation will be much better off as a result.

Overall, we have organized the work needed into seven eight key areas or pillars within a Mindful Nation. They are: Children & Schools; Patients & Health Care; Military, First Responders & Veterans; Self & Family; Corporate & Industry; Community & Global; and Democracy & Government.

As Congressman Ryan says, “A Mindful Nation is one where we have pupil-centered education, patient-centered healthcare, people-centered policies/politics, and family-centered businesses.” In order to gain the trust and support of the people, we must make the programs relevant to their lives and demonstrate real results.

I have to say that building a mindful nation has to be a movement, a quiet revolution which, borrowing some words from President Abraham Lincoln, is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Only then can it push back against the forces of apathy and of the status quo.

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